While the progression of the Delta variant, more contagious, shows new waves of contaminations across the world, several countries are organizing between tightening of restrictions and delivery of vaccines.
The pandemic has killed at least four million people worldwide since the end of December 2019. The United States is the most affected country, with more than 607,000 deaths and more than 33.8 million recorded cases. Peru is the one that deplores the highest number of deaths in relation to its population, with 590 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. These figures, which are based on official daily reports, could be two to three times higher, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
London confirms lifting of most anti-Covid restrictions on July 19
British Minister of Health Savid Javid on Monday confirmed the lifting of most restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic in England by July 19, as planned by the government.
“We are convinced that it is time for our country to return to normal life, so we will take the next step in our exit plan on July 19”, underlined the minister in front of the deputies.
One hundred and ten million doses of Chinese vaccines for Covax
Covax will immediately receive 110 million doses of vaccines from Chinese laboratories Sinovac and Sinopharm, the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) said on Monday (July 12). The agreement reached provides for the purchase of 60 million doses over the period from July to the end of October from Sinopharm and 50 million doses over the period from July to the end of September from Sinovac.
The agreement also includes options to purchase additional doses in the coming months, said a statement from GAVI, a founding member of the Covax international vaccine distribution system. “With this agreement, and because these vaccines have already received emergency approval from the WHO, we can start delivering doses to countries immediately.”, said Seth Berkley, who heads the Vaccine Alliance.
As of July 12, the Covax system, which was supposed to guarantee equitable access to both rich and disadvantaged countries to anti-Covid-19 vaccines, had distributed more than 102 million doses of vaccines in 135 countries. This is much less than the targets posted earlier this year, but India has blocked exports of AstraZeneca vaccine doses destined for Covax and rich countries have scrambled for the most effective vaccines, worsening vaccine inequality to the point of being denounced as “Obscene” by the boss of the WHO.
New Zealand announces special APEC meeting
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday announced a special meeting of leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on Friday (July 16). New Zealand is due to host an annual online summit in November bringing together the 21 members of this organization, but it has called the extraordinary meeting to consider actions to be taken in the face of the health crisis.
Jacinda Ardern claimed that US and Russian Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin had confirmed their attendance, as had “The majority of other APEC leaders”. “The APEC economies have suffered in the past year from their worst contraction [depuis la seconde guerre mondiale] with the elimination of 81 million jobs, which makes a collective response vital to accelerate the economic recovery of the whole area ”, she said Mme Ardern in a press release.
APEC brings together the countries bordering the Pacific, from the United States to Australia, via Papua New Guinea, China and Chile. Together they represent 60% of global GDP. Mme Ardern said APEC leaders would look at various issues on Friday, such as how to make vaccination campaigns more effective or what to do to protect jobs and economies.
“Alarming” resumption of contaminations in Algeria
The resumption of Covid-19 contaminations in Algeria is “Alarming” and hospitals are “Saturated”, says Mohamed Yousfi, head of an infectious disease department in Boufarik, near Algiers. The infectious disease specialist denounces the state’s immobility in the face of non-compliance with precautionary measures.
According to the Dr Yousfi, the caregivers are “On the kneecaps”. He had to wait for a death to have a place in the intensive care unit of the University Hospital of Blida, where the most serious cases that he treated in his service were sent. If President Abdelmadjid Tebboune assures that the epidemiological situation is ” under control “, Algeria, the most populous country in the Maghreb with its 44 million inhabitants, is approaching its record of 1,133 daily cases recorded in November 2020.
Thailand imposes curfew on Bangkok
More than ten million people have been placed under strengthened health restrictions since Monday morning and will have to respect a night curfew from Monday evening in Bangkok. Thailand is facing an epidemic peak unprecedented since the appearance of Covid-19. Police roadblocks were set up in Bangkok overnight to verify compliance with travel restrictions, prohibited between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., except in emergencies.
To date, the kingdom officially totals 345,027 cases of Covid-19 and 2,791 deaths, most of which comes from the current wave that appeared in April because of the Alpha and Delta variants. Part of nightclubs in an upscale district of Bangkok, the epidemic spread rapidly and took advantage of a delay in the launch of vaccination and a limited capacity to test the population.
The country also reviewed its vaccine strategy on Monday and will combine the Chinese Sinovac vaccine with the English AstraZeneca, with the aim of stemming the rapid spread of the virus. These new measures come as the country, a major tourist destination before the crisis, partially reopened its doors to international travelers on 1is July.
Olympic Games: Chinese sailing delegation denounces a “flaw” in the anti-Covid-19 bubble
The Chinese sailing team, which arrived in Japan to participate in the Olympic Games (Olympics), denounced a ” fault “ of the anti-Covid-19 device in his hotel, according to state media. The sailing team is the first Chinese delegation to take up residence in the archipelago, in a hotel on Enoshima Island, where their events will be held. The establishment also welcomes local tourists, which poses a potential risk of contamination of athletes in common areas, especially during meals, according to team officials.
Japan decided last week that the Olympics would take place largely behind closed doors in the face of the increase in recent weeks in Covid-19 cases, due in particular to the Delta variant, which is more contagious. The state of health emergency has been reinstated in Tokyo from Monday until August 22, as the capital has around 900 daily cases of Covid-19. Unlike Japan, China has virtually eradicated the epidemic on its soil since the spring of 2020.